Clarity via health scare

Coming back from the New Year, my coworker dropped by to catch up with me about his newfound interest in positive life outlook? I don’t know how else to describe it. Connecting to inner spirituality? Think meditation, nature bathing, values-questioning type stuff. He recently had a health scare where one of his heart arteries was majorly blocked. It wasn’t a heart attack, but he needed surgery to get a stent to open up the flow. He mentioned his wife also isn’t in the best of health so he’s been re-evaluating his life and thinking about retirement.

He mentioned a few things that stuck out to me:

  • I can trade time for money, but not the other way around. He says he’s seen so many boats and RVs for sale from owners who didn’t get to use them for long because after they retired, they were older, or got unforeseen conditions that left them unable to enjoy those things. He wants to be able to enjoy these things while he and his wife are still physically able.
  • Real estate taxes can take a big chunk out of your retirement. He’s thinking of selling his place after he retires and moving somewhere less expensive because even though he’s no longer paying a mortgage, the taxes alone will take a significant chunk of his retirement. I never thought of it this way, but home ownership isn’t true ownership. We pay rent in perpetuity to the gubment. I am having second thoughts about how badly I want that backyard garden.
  • Buddhism can be applied as a philosophy rather than taken as a religious dogma. I think he’s trying to apply aspects of it to his life and maybe rethink or re-prioritize his values? Or something?
  • Retirement classes cover a whole lot about finances but don’t really help much in the area of how-to-life.

Anyway, I was glad to get a glimpse of what goes on inside the mind of someone as they start thinking about retirement. I sometimes feel like I’ve been ready already, but when it’s staring me in the face, I will be a lost little lamb!